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Amazon Headquarters, Seattle, United States

Friday 24 May 2013

Plant-filled domes for Amazon

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Biodomes planned for headquarters of internet giant Amazon in Seattle by NBBJ 

NBBJ is establishing itself as the architect of choice for internet giants after it partnered with Amazon for a Seattle Headquarters just over a year ago and Google in March this year. The team has just released glittering revisions for the Amazon HQ where one of three ‘blocks’ has been substituted for a shimmering cluster of biodomes.

In April 2012 NBBJ released designs for a new commercial campus for internet giant Amazon in Downtown Seattle comprising three towers of 37 storeys apiece all facing one another in a cluster with a central plaza, auditorium, retail facilities and public open spaces.

Now an alternative environment has been proposed where one of these towers is replaced by three intersecting glass spheres, one large dome in the centre and two smaller spheres on either side, gradually stepping the building mass down to the site perimeter.

This new development will enable Amazon employees to work individually or in small groups in a low-rise building of 5 storeys surrounded by verdant foliage, capable of holding mature trees. NBBJ has suggested filling the domes with flora that can co-exist in a microclimate that also suits people and those found in mountainous environments around the globe. 

In total this alteration will cost the development approximately 19,000 sq ft of internal space however the low-rise nature of the structure gives it a number of positive attributes including the reduction in shadow and shade impact and the widening of entrances along the 6th and 7th Avenue to the Public Plaza and Commercial Parcel Park.

Retail facilities will also be included in the development, incorporating a public element to the largely office-led cluster. Public space has been set aside in the centre of ‘Block 19’ with a playing field, off-lead park for dogs and a public pathway that weaves across the entire site.

NBBJ says in its official proposal: “The intent behind the new design shown in the MUP revision is to create an alternative environment on Block 19, in the centre of the 3 block development where employees can work and socialize in a more natural, park-like setting. The generative idea is that a plant-rich environment has many positive qualities that are not often found in a typical office setting.”

Key Facts

Status Concept design
Value 0(m€)
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